Lessons Learned

My name is Kelsey Kennedy and I’m a senior at the University of Tampa. I’m a marketing major and also a college athlete, participating in women’s golf. I have written for HerCampus and creative communications throughout high school and college.

As a college senior, I’m writing this on behalf of all underclass college students.

College has been one of the most fulfilling years of my life and it has been consistent with the old saying, “College is the best four years of your life.” However, no one ever tells you about the friendships that come and go. The people that were my closest friends freshman year are now people I barely see. Now that I’m in my senior year, with one semester left until graduation I can say I’ve made friendships that will last a lifetime. It never occurred to me that through this process of gaining friends, that I would in turn lose some. However, it’s a testament to the game of life. College has taught me just how valuable a true friendship can be. Ultimately, I have learned that it’s part of the growth we encounter throughout life.
Along with these new found epiphanies of life, I find it fitting to constitute what makes a lifetime friendship. In my opinion, friends are suppose to compliment you and be there for you. However, there can be no relationship without honesty. Therefore, a true friend is going to tell you the truth and you should understand the truth may hurt, especially if it’s not what you wanted to hear. Also, while it’s common to believe that those with similar personalities, interests and hobbies have a closer friendship can actually be a misconception. I have realized that I’m completely intolerable to others that have the same characteristics as me, go figure. Although, it may be hard to expand your circle of friends, don’t be apprehensive in getting to know people, who are different than you. Lastly, college is the time to find out who you are and what you want out of life. A good friend is one, who will challenge you and bring out the best in you. Surrounding yourself with positive influencers and motivators will make your friendship last after college.
Mainly, you should have friendships that are based on more than partying. True friends should be there for you and I don’t just mean be there for you to hold your hair, while your throwing up your cranberry vodka. I truly hope that everyone in college has the opportunity and the willingness to experience a diversity of friendships. College for me was to break away from my small hometown that consisted of the same people. Before college, I had known the same people through elementary school and high school and even though I had known them that long I don’t think our friendship was any stronger and I still felt alone. Friendship isn’t only determined by how long you’ve known someone. Don’t think college is too late to meet any real friends because it’s just as good a time as any other. If anything I’d rather have one or two genuine friends than be surrounded by an abundance of people pretending to be my friends. What would you rather have?

- Kelsey Kennedy

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